Charity fund established for Kg Ayer fire victims

Azlan Othman

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented for the establishment of the Kampong Pengiran Bendahara Lama Fire Victim Charity Fund, and the establishment of a committee to administer the funds.

This was announced yesterday by Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong at the first meeting of the Kampong Pengiran Bendahara Lama Fire Victim Charity Fund Committee.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, who is also the Co-Adviser of the Charity Fund Committee and Co-Chair of the meeting, was also present at the meeting held at the Brunei-Muara District Office.

A blaze broke out at Kampong Pengiran Bendahara Lama in the early hours of January 8, destroying 12 houses and causing damage to four others.

“We express our deepest gratitude to the Fire and Rescue Department (FRD), who were able to contain the fire within one hour and 10 minutes. We also thank the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF), the Acting Village Head of Kampong Pengiran Bendahara Lama and all the village residents for their assistance in managing the incident,” said Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong.

Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin at the meeting. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

“The actions of the Government of His Majesty, in particular the Community Development Department (JAPEM), in providing temporary shelter for them is deeply appreciated and hopefully will help to alleviate the impact of this tragic event.”

JAPEM has provided temporary accommodation for the fire victims at Kampong Sungai Akar, and supplied them with financial aid on January 13. Meanwhile, the Brunei-Muara District Office has begun repair work on the main bridge at Kampong Pengiran Bendahara Lama, which was damaged during the blaze.

The charity fund is open from January 14 to February 29, giving adequate time for donors to make cash contributions and organise fundraising activities.

Donations may be made at mosques nationwide, District Office buildings in all four districts, commercial premises, or submitted directly to the Co-Secretariat of the Kampong Pengiran Bendahara Lama Fire Victim Charity Fund at the Brunei-Muara District Office at Old Airport, Lambak during office hours. Donations can also be made through Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) account number 00-001-01-0064212.

Permanent Secretary (Municipal and District) at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) Salminan bin Haji Burut; Permanent Secretary (Strategy Management and Policy) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MYCS) Pengiran Haji Mohd Hasnan bin Pengiran Haji Ali Hassan as Co-Chair of the Charity Fund Committee; Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Development and Acting Managing Director of Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Dr Nor Imtihan binti Haji Abdul Razak; Deputy Permanent Secretary (Municipal and District) at the Ministry of Home Affairs Abdul Walid bin Haji Matassan; and Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Dr Siti Norkhalbi binti binti Haji Wahsalfelah as Deputy Co-Chair of the Charity Fund Committee; district officers; acting district officers; and senior government officers and representatives from the private sector were also present.

The Chinese Chamber of Commerce Bandar Seri Begawan represented by its President Malcolm Lim said that it would be mobilising Chinese retailers and community to donate to the fund.